Tips for conducting an interview

It’s not just the candidate who needs to be on the top of their game during the job search process. You’re representing your organisation and you should come across as professional and knowledgeable when conducting an interview.


Never go into an interview with no idea as to what you’re looking to get out of the meeting. As well as knowing what questions you’re going to ask the candidate, you need to be prepared to answer theirs. You should know the role inside out and be up to scratch on company facts. Take a copy of the candidate’s CV in with you, but make sure you know it well before the interview begins; you may need to refer to it during the interview.

Decide what type of interview it is

Some interviews are more conversational than others, and for many people this allows them to find out more about their candidate. The two most common styles of interview are:
  • Chronological – where you go through a candidate’s CV in a chronological order and ask them questions about each role they’ve listed on it. This is a good way of finding out how the candidate’s skills have developed and how they’ve progressed in each role.
  • Competency or role specific – where you discuss certain skills or experience the candidate has that match the role you’re hiring for. If a candidate’s past experience is varied, you may only need to discuss a few of the roles that are most relevant.

Put the candidate at ease

Do your best to make the candidate relax, you’ll get a much better understanding of their capabilities if they feel they can speak freely. If your interviewee sees that you’re nervous it could make them nervous too, which is why it’s so important to be prepared.
A good way of giving you both a little breathing space is by giving the candidate an overview of the company and the role before you start the questioning. This may only take a few minutes but it works as an ice breaker.

Ask the right questions

Ensure you’re not conducting an interview that only contains closed questions. You won’t find out very much about your candidate this way; asking open questions encourages the candidate to respond by giving real life examples. Take a look at our insightful interview questions for some tips.

Give feedback

It’s good to provide feedback after an interview, even if only to keep the relationship going with the candidate. This will keep the candidate’s interest up and if you decide not to offer them the role, you may be able to consider them for another role in the future if you’ve left them with a good impression.
We tend to advise that employers don’t offer roles at the interview. Taking the time away to think about and compare all the candidates you interviewed will help you make a fairer judgement and a more informed decision.
If you’re currently hiring, contact your local Michael Page office to see how we can help with your recruitment process.